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Music

Many of us enjoy listening to a good tune or two when out and about, and a goodly proportion of that mobile music will likely be sourced from a smartphone or tablet. For those who prefer high quality sounds though, dedicated players like Neil Young's Pono and those from iRiver's Astell&Kern are probably going to be on the menu. The latter has announced a new flagship portable audio player aimed squarely at audiophiles and sound professionals, which is capable of 32-bit/384 kHz bit-to-bit decoding without the need for conversion but comes at a rather high cost.

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The Sound Torch is a portable Bluetooth speaker that adds a unique visual element to your listening experience thanks to a built-in pyro board, which fires up in different formations based on the music being played.

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Mike Canavan is on a mission to bring guitarists the "greatest possible range and control over their tone" on a single instrument. The patented Pole Position Sliding Pickup System allows players to change the position of a guitar's pickup relative to the strings on the fly. This means a string-picker can opt for a bright bridge tone or a fat, warm neck tone, or anything inbetween – all with just a light touch from the picking hand.

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When it comes to trusted audio equipment names, few match the reputation of industry stalwart Bose. Since the company first dipped its toes into the tranquil waters of noise-cancelling gear in 2000, it's over-ear QuietComfort headphone line has evolved to become recognized as some of the best in the business. So how well will its latest offering, the QuietComfort 25's, live up to this legacy? Read on, as we try Bose's newest cans on for size.

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Yamaha has revealed the third generation of its award-winning Silent Guitars series ahead of a July release in the US. Described as the perfect guitars for practice, travel or stage, the new "near silent" SLG200 series guitars feature something called Studio Response Technology that's been designed to recreate the body resonance, tone and ambiance of an acoustic guitar in an instrument that, well, doesn't have much of a body.

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If you fancy expanding your six-string sound beyond the reach of analog stomps, digital effects and power amps and into the world on sonic synthesis, there are a number of ways to go. You could create your own Frankenguitar hybrid like the Guitarduino, or opt for less a less experimental approach by adding a special pickup to your existing axe, such as Roland's divided pickup or the Tripleplay from Fishman. Buying a new instrument with such technology already installed is another option, but Boss has announced an analog-style synth floor unit called the SY-300 that's been designed to be used with any guitar pickup. Read More
Just over a year ago, Livid Instruments ended a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring its Guitar Wing wireless controller to life. The device is attached to the lower horn of an electric guitar or bass to enable wireless control of apps and DAWs running on a computer. After working closely with Apple engineers, the company has now announced support for the new Bluetooth LE MIDI protocol for Yosemite OS X and iOS 8. Read More
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